With more than 30 years of experience in flooring as both a retailer and publisher of Fabulous Floors magazine, Margo Locust has a unique perspective on the industry. In 2015, she and her husband Ken opened Locust Trading Company, a certified Cherokee Indian-owned retail showroom located in Andrews, NC.
As one of Karndean’s newer retail partners, she offered some interesting insight helping customers find the perfect floor, the advantages of designflooring, and how a skilled installer can bring out the best in your project.
Why did you choose to partner with Karndean?
With LVT being the most sought after flooring option, combined with the forward thinking and design driven products from Karndean, it was a no brainer! Frankly, I have been in love with the product since I first saw it at a home show in Connecticut in 2004.
What excites you most about becoming a Karndean retailer?
The most exciting thing for me about being a Karndean retailer is the level of design ability that comes naturally with Karndean product lines. Plus, the pricing on the products is fantastic; it’s affordable for customers, while offering a high-end designer look! Lastly, I truly appreciate the level of great customer service that comes from Karndean representatives, as well as the sales and order placement side of things. All of this is an important part of the retailer–customer experience.
What do you think sets you apart from other flooring retailers?
Our customer service is first and foremost; second is our selection of products; third is our status as a minority owned business; and fourth is our involvement in the community.
You also have the distinction of publishing a flooring magazine, Fabulous Floors. How does this unique perspective help with your retail store?
Certainly, having a good knowledge of products, design trends, and manufacturers from our work with the magazine helps on the sales floor. However, I think being on the sales floor with consumers every day helps us provide more targeted content to write about in Fabulous Floors.
What is the first or most important question you ask a customer?
There is no standard first question to ask a customer in my opinion. Each customer who walks through the door is unique, with his or her own set of needs and ideas. I greet the customer with a smile and they start talking... then I start asking questions.
In your opinion, what do you think most of your customers look for when it comes to choosing a new floor?
A product that is beautiful, easy to maintain, will perform well based upon their lifestyle, and one that can meet their budgetary constraints.
From a retailer’s perspective, what can a customer provide to help the decision process?
I have found that it’s not always about the price, although budget is a consideration. It’s important to get the customer to tell me what they expect from their flooring option, to learn about their lifestyle. Do they have kids or pets? Are they elderly or disabled? It’s critical to learn how they need the product to perform, as well as find color choices that will match their existing decor.
What trends are you seeing emerge in flooring and/or what are you favorites?
The mix of rustics with modern elements is huge in my region of the country, but I also think it is a trend that extends worldwide
What has been your favorite flooring installation or project to date? Have you had any unusual ones, as well?
The jury is still out on this question. I have seen some remarkable tile installations, some great carpet tile installs, hardwood, and LVT. My installers are more like artisans. As more people learn about our business, more and more unique installations are coming down the road. The installers that we use are all veterans. They have been doing hard surface flooring installations for more than 25 years. There have been times when they encounter “surprises” at a customer’s house during an installation. Karndean Designflooring products allow for our installers to be creative, perhaps in sections of the room that may be problematic. Karndean’s products also allow for borders and design strips to be implemented into the overall flooring installation. Imagine metallic design strips around a medallion that “pulls out” the color or aesthetic of custom cabinets or industrial light fixtures.
Do you have a favorite Karndean product or collection?
I’m sorry, I can't choose just one... I really love them all!
We’d like to thank Margo for taking the time to speak with us about her exciting new business venture. If you’re in the Andrews, NC area or nearby northwest Georgia, stop by Locust Trading Company. Or, visit their website for more information: www.locusttradingcompany.com.